With Bariatric Surgery, Barbara Lost Weight, Daily Insulin & Diabetes

Barbara's greatest success from bariatric surgery? Getting rid of insulin injections and diabetes. Bariatric surgery is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Every person has unique needs. Barbara Reed Martin was seeking expert help with her weight-loss battle and was determined to get off of the daily insulin injections needed to control her diabetes. She traveled from Baltimore to South Jersey to find her solution at Virtua.

Barbara struggled with her weight since adolescence. She recalls the moment in high school that scarred her. "My gym teacher announced my weight to everyone in the gymnasium. For 20 years, I relived that humiliating feeling every time I stepped on a scale."

Her decision to have bariatric surgery began in 2004 at a highly regarded medical institution in Baltimore, but unfortunately, it didn’t end there. Complications from surgery prevented her from losing weight. Her doctor recommended a second bariatric procedure, but this too didn't provide good results for Barbara.

“The easy part is losing weight. I lost 100 pounds total throughout the years," Barbara says. "The hardest part is not gaining it back.”

After a decade, Barbara was still having trouble with her weight and blood sugar levels. She did more research on bariatric surgery procedures and was convinced that duodenal switch surgery was for her. After searching for a surgeon with experience and success performing this complex procedure, she found Virtua bariatric surgeon David Greenbaum, MD.

She was willing to travel the 3 hours to New Jersey to meet Dr. Greenbaum. Based on her medical history, they were in agreement about the duodenal switch because of its effectiveness at reversing type-2 diabetes and hypertension.   

“There are patients who have undergone other types of bariatric surgery procedures with less than satisfying results. It's best to consult with an experienced bariatric surgeon first to help determine the proper weight-loss surgery at the start," advises Dr. Greenbaum. "Conversion to a duodenal switch is certainly an option, but one that involves an even higher surgical risk."

Barbara came home from surgery at Virtua on Christmas day.

Her present? Giving herself her very last insulin injection.

“It was amazing to go from 10 years of insulin to none,” says Barbara. “That alone made my surgery a success.”  

Barbara is still working toward her goal weight, but she no longer dreads stepping on the scale and her diabetes is gone. “I finally feel like I’m on the right path. I’m amazed when I compare my before and after photos. It feels great.” 

Is bariatric surgery right for you? 

Learn more about bariatric surgery at Virtua, or call 1-888-VIRTUA-3 to schedule a consultation with a Virtua bariatric surgeon. 

Updated April 5, 2018

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